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Witchcraft in Early North America (American Controversies) Ebook PDF Epub DJVU Online

Witchcraft in Early North America (American Controversies) ebook

Witchcraft in Early North America (American Controversies) Ebook

 By Alison Games

 Language: English

 Publish Year : 1970

 

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E-Book review:
The slenderness of this volume belies its author's ambition: an introduction to European, African, and Native American witchcraft before and after European contact. In cogent prose, Games has done a remarkable work of synthesis, bringing together dozens of sources and a hundred pages of primary text to create a compelling and entertaining overview of witchcraft history. She puts witch hunts into political and religious context, noting how colonial life laid fertile ground for sorcery and rebellion. While her editorial skills are admirable (included are transcripts of famous witch "confessions," the poisoning of one of Thomas Jefferson's slaves by a conjurer, and more), her own work may be of more interest. Games actively interprets, framing each document with a background sketch and leading questions ("What--or who--might have saved Mary Lee from murder?"), but ambition can come at a cost; overviews of belief systems are generalized, conclusions can come from questionable sources, and the writing at times recalls a textbook. But for students and history buffs who seek a larger context for the Salem outbreak, this is an admirable volume. (Oct.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. Witches, witches, everywhere. That’s the elegantly simple and subtle insight of Alison Games’s new book. Witchcraft in Early North America combines an innovative approach to exploring the enmeshed histories of European, African, and Native American people in the early modern world with an important analysis of the deep and wide histories of witchcraft beliefs and practices across North America. Students, teachers, and general readers alike will appreciate this combination as they explore the richness of Games’ introduction and the variety of primary sources she has gathered here. (Karin Wulf )

In cogent prose, Games has done a remarkable work of synthesis, bringing together dozens of sources and a hundred pages of primary text to create a compelling and entertaining overview of witchcraft history. She puts witch hunts into political and religious context, noting how colonial life laid fertile ground for sorcery and rebellion. While her editorial skills are admirable (included are transcripts of famous witch 'confessions,' the poisoning of one of Thomas Jefferson's slaves by a conjurer, and more), her own work may be of more interest. . . . [F]or students and history buffs who seek a larger context for the Salem outbreak, this is an admirable volume. (Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly )

Alison Games's wonderful book combines a superb historical introduction with an imaginative and wide-reaching collection of documents. Witchcraft, we learn, crossed cultural boundaries in North America, a finding that finally places the study of this aspect of the early modern world into our larger understanding of the period. General readers, students, and professors alike will benefit from the efforts of Professor Games, a leading scholar of the early modern Atlantic world, who brings her considerable talents and unique historical skills to the problem of witchcraft. (Peter C. Mancall )

Games (history, Georgetown Univ.) makes a vital contribution to the pedagogical resources on early American witchcraft. With its introductory essay and interdependent collection of primary materials, the book demonstrates how accusations of witchcraft mediated colonial encounters between mutually illegible cultures. . . . Games's historical introduction broadens the scope of witchcraft study beyond New England to incorporate less familiar outbreaks in New France and New Spain. The author traces as well the conflicting beliefs European, Native, and African peoples brought to these encounters. A modest selection of Salem materials are among the 29 brief primary documents, which include legal documents, reports of first encounters, and possession narratives from across the continent. Games's premise is that the historical record tells the story slant; accordingly, this volume represents a necessary and ethical, albeit brief, attempt to counter the Anglo-centrism that has characterized witchcraft historiography. The author resituates episodes of witchcraft in the context of cultural contact and conflict in which they occurred, incorporating them into larger scholarly trends in the study of early America as a space of contact zones. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. (Choice Choice )

The book is well-written, intelligent, and balanced…. Games excels as a scholar, and there are insightful passages in the text; her analysis of the decline of legal witchcraft prosecutions among European cultures, for example, is outstanding. She deftly explains the theories of multiple causation that are often difficult to explain to undergraduates…. The diverse document selection that follows Games's essay is far more interesting than any collection specifically addressing witchcraft in North America. (Magic, Ritual, And Witchcraft Magic, Ritual, And Witchcraft )

 

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